A “Mucky Mushroom” and her five Persian littermates arrived at a rescue in the UK. All the kittens were bred for their exaggeratedly smushed faces and fluffy coats. While many folks find these cats cute, years of breeding for such traits come at a high cost to health for a lifetime.
“Mushroom was part of a litter that all have their issues due to bad…and incestual breeding,” explained the rescue.
Mucky Mushroom the Persian Kitten
Soon after being born, Mucky Mushroom and her siblings faced some extraordinary challenges. Sadly, she was the most affected of the bunch. For example, she couldn’t breathe normally, a fate no kitten deserves. Now, she will always need extra TLC. So the rescuers say they “mollycoddled” her.
Her abnormally tiny and restricted nostrils (called stenotic nares) caused breathing difficulty, possibly requiring surgery one day. They have to open up the airways to allow normal breathing. But there are many more health issues.
“Mushroom cannot go to the toilet unaided, has serious mobility problems, has breathing issues, ocular discharge,” the rescue explained.
For the rest of her life, Mushroom will need daily eyedrops and may have ongoing dental issues too.
Mushroom’s Fluffy Siblings
Each morning, the rescue took on the challenge of helping Mushroom and her siblings feel a little better. To do so, they needed professional grooming help. Although only about ten weeks old, the kittens’ fur was already matted and dirty.
After 90 minutes of careful grooming, the kitten’s coats appeared whiter, and a mountain of fluff was left behind.
“…For everyone’s ease and the kittens’ comfort, we took their coats shorter with clippers, so they’re easier to keep clean, and no, we didn’t worry about what they were going to look like!
“The wonderful staff are already busy cleaning their eyes and bums around the clock, so at this stage, the less hair they have everywhere else the better. These little girls all coped very well with this morning’s antics! And will all be more comfortable now!” explained EC Cat Care.
As you can see, the kittens’ large protruding eyes remain watery and stained due to malformed tear ducts. Even so, many people remarked at how adorable the kittens are.
Maybe the large eyes and short round face remind them of a human baby? Whatever the psychology, unscrupulous breeders continue to see demand and don’t bother informing people about the long list of health issues.
Persian Cats and Breeders
Although a beloved and historic breed, Persian cats didn’t always have that exaggeratedly short face, known as brachycephalic. But since the ’50s, selective breeding focused on the trait. Today, the rescuers see the result of extremely malformed heads along with abnormally enlarged eyes.
Without the kindness of Bradford Cat Watch Rescue & Sanctuary rescuers, Mucky Mushroom and friends would probably have had no quality of life at all.
Despite stories like this one, Persian cats remain popular, with about 100,000 in the UK alone. Mucky Mushroom’s story is another airtight case of “Never buy from a breeder,” and “adopt, don’t shop.”